Below is a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office:
WOBURN, MA — Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Massachusetts State Police Colonel John E. Mawn, Jr. have confirmed that over the past month their offices have worked in partnership on investigations that have resulted in multiple seizures of firearms, including several ghost guns and parts and equipment used to manufacture ghost guns.
“We have recently seen multiple very concerning incidents involving ghost guns. These firearms pose a very real threat to our communities, they are untraceable and those who possess and distribute these weapons are intentionally violating the gun laws we have in place in Massachusetts,” said District Attorney Ryan. “In Middlesex we will continue to use every tool available to us, from enforcement and prosecution to working at a legislative level to close the existing loopholes that allow those without a gun license to possess the tools to make ‘do-it-yourself’ firearms”.
On February 9, 2023, a trooper assigned to the Massachusetts State Police Andover barracks stopped a motor vehicle in Wilmington for alleged erratic operation. During the stop, the trooper observed an ammunition magazine and the subsequent investigation revealed that the driver was in possession of a loaded 9mm Glock-style firearm with no serial number, commonly known as a ghost gun, along with magazines and ammunition for an AR-15 rifle. The operator of the vehicle, Sean O’Connor, 37 of Woburn, was placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle after his license was suspended for operating under the influence.
As part of the ongoing investigation into this matter, police executed a search warrant at his Brentwood Lane home in Burlington, where they located multiple additional completed Glock-style ghost guns, along with frames and components of uncompleted handguns and AR-15-style rifles. Police also located a drill press and other tools used to fabricate ghost guns from those parts.
O’Connor was arraigned on February 9, 2023 on charges of possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a large capacity feeding device, improper storage of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, caring a large capacity firearm, possession of a large capacity feeding device, possession of a firearm without a license, subsequent offense, possession of ammunition without a license and operating with a suspended license. The defendant was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing that was occurred last Friday, March 3. At the hearing the defendant was ordered into pretrial custody after being found dangerous. The next date in this case is March 31.
The investigation was conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police Troop A, Massachusetts State Police STOP, Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and Burlington Police and Fire Departments.
On February 24, 2023, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s and Detectives from the Woburn Police Department executed a search warrant at a Totman Drive residence in Woburn in connection with an ongoing “Ghost Gun” firearms manufacturing and trafficking investigation. At the residence, investigators seized a 3D printer, multiple 3D printed “Glock” style pistol frames, 3D printed magazine/feeding devices, several gun parts and tools used for manufacturing of firearms. Police also located a quantity of pills stamped Xanax believed to be counterfeit “pressed” pills, and binding agents used in the manufacture process for pressed pills.
While executing the search warrant, the officers found that the 3D printer was actively working on making a “Ghost Gun” lower pistol frame.
As a result, the resident of the home and the subject of this investigation, Vincent Johns 32 of Woburn, was taken into custody without incident and charged with possession of a firearm without a license and trafficking firearms.
This case was investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Woburn Police with specialized assistance from the Massachusetts State Police STOP Team, Crime Scene Services Section (CSSS), Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team (CLET) and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“These cases are just two examples of a dangerous trend we are seeing involving firearms. In addition to the dangers to the public posed by unregistered and untraceable firearms, gun parts manufactured with 3D printers, similar to what we found in Woburn pose a particular risk to the user due to the fact that improper assembly or the use of plastic parts makes the guns likely to break apart or fire improperly upon use,” added District Attorney Ryan.
As a result of seeing those trends across Middlesex County, this legislative session District Attorney Ryan has again partnered with State Representative David Linsky to spearhead An Act Relative to 3D Printed Weapons and “Ghost Guns”. The legislation amends the current law to include definitions of “assembly,” “manufacture” and “frame or receiver” and to clarify that the definition of firearms includes frames or receivers and other 3D printed or do-it-yourself assembled guns. This proposal also adds a section prohibiting the manufacture or assembly of firearms that do not bear serial numbers.